Academented Christmas, day the twenty-second – semantics part two

Apologies for the belated entry!

Many people (or maybe it is just me) float through their lives today without thinking about the little details that might make day-to-day life a little better (or worse). Such as funny names. Everybody likes a funny name, no? The other day, a friend and colleague of mine was discussing potential Christmas presents for family members, and I suggested a day out at an amusement park for one of their younger siblings. Then I mentioned that I hadn’t been to “Green Grove” – this is the direct translation of the name of an amusement park in a European capital city, gold star if you can figure out which one – for ages. Cue a procrastinatory half-an-hour of translating non-English proper nouns into English and amusing ourselves (…myself) over the effect. The consensus is that they are often (non-)descriptive, twee, or unflattering.

Exhibit A:


“Southern ditch mud river.”

Exhibit B:

Stockholm. (The sign is the white-on-black text. Don’t get distracted by the doodles.)

“(The) Raspberry mountains.”

Elephant and Castle? What’s that?

Any further contributions are most welcome in the comments!


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